The city's farmers are leaving their fields on the outskirts of Haverhill and heading downtown.
On the lawn at 40 Bailey Boulevard, surrounded by plenty of free parking, the Team Haverhill civic group will roll out its fourth annual Farmers Market every Saturday this summer and early fall — from June 23 to Oct. 27.
It will operate from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., rain or shine.
Sponsored by the Merrimack Valley Hospital, the market will bring back several familiar faces among its 22 vendors — and something unique from the public school system.
Both of this year's new features involve children.
"We are excited about our new kids' tent,'' said market organizer Jeff Grassie, a Team Haverhill member. "Children will be able to come over to our tent to play and create art.
"We want more families to visit us at our market with their children so as a family they can meet our vendors and realize how important it is to support our local agriculture and to know where their food is coming from." Grassie said.
This year, students from the Haverhill Alternative School, a public school program housed at St. James School on Primrose Street, will participate in the market with products grown in their greenhouse at the school.
The alternative school built the greenhouse as a project for the Middle School students in the program.
Lisa Marzilli, a Team Haverhill member and Farmers Market organizer, approached the school about selling the greenhouse products at the market, Grassie said.
Donnie Cox of Fletcher's Farm at 595 East Broadway said he plans to return to the market this year for his third season. He said he does well with some of his specialty produce.
"It's been a great way to meet new people and is a good avenue to sell some of my produce,'' Cox said. "I plan to sell more varieties of my naturally grown heirloom tomatoes this year. They have always been in high demand."
Grassie said musical performers will also be part of the market.
"Musicians will be posted weekly on our website," he said.
The city's farmers market began operating in 1978 in a haphazard way until four years ago, when Team Haverhill rejuvenated the idea.
Last year, in its third year after the revival, the market received its liquor license and began selling wine.
This year's vendors include:
A-1 Baklava Delights
Fat Belly BBQ
Fletcher Community Farm
Gulf of Maine Seafood
John Crow Farm
Long Hill Farm
Madison's Sweet Treats
Quinn's Canine Cafe
Simone Riverside Farm
Stasinos Family Farm
Suds and Scrubs Cottage
Willow Spring Garden